Havana Rumba is a great restaurant in Louisville not because the food, ambiance or service is the most spectacular, but because you feel transported. It feels different. And vibrant. Cuban food isn’t something you find on every street corner in Louisville. When you walk into Havana Rumba (FB) the colorful paintings, wooden throne-like chairs, palm fans, and sugar cane rods in your mojito help you relax a little bit. Makes you feel like it’s summer despite the unnatural February weather.
Sure there is Sprite in your mojito. And the rice is scooped in an ice cream scooper. And the servers act they don’t speak English when they speak it perfectly. (I’m onto you!) But Havana Rumba still offers up the right taste in the tiny details. Like our clunky Papas Rellenas. Out come these totally bizarre looking fried mashed potato balls with meat inside, served up two to the plate. They are big and awkward looking. But they taste so good dipped in the cool but spicy roasted pepper pimento sour cream. That was a nice touch. And the big fried plantains served with nearly every dish added a lovely texture and sweet yet savory flavor. Makes you want to throw plantains onto your bologna sandwich at lunch to see if they would work on everything! Or the lovely color of my lime shrimp cooked up in a clay pot. Or the amazing touch of the red and green chimichurri sauce that came with our skirt steak. A red one and a green one! Screw the Sprite in the mojito when you get two chimichurris that taste so incredibly fresh. Who can complain. Here’s what we ate:
And the star of the show was the awesome, almost missed, $4 coconut flan:
I wouldn’t call myself a flan person until I had that dish. More creamy then gelatinous with a touch of tart from the berries and sweetness from the chocolate, with lots of texture from the crisp coconut shavings. It truly stole the show. Get transported and get your Cuban on. It’ll make you feel like you’re on vacation!
4115 Oechsli Road. Open Monday-Thursday 11:30a to 9:30p. Friday 11a to 10p. Saturday 12n to 10p. Sunday 12n-8:30p.